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Using Content Prompts? Here’s Why They Feel Off


Content Creation

You snagged a content calendar full of content prompts as a free download. You’re excited at the thought of using it to create content for your biz more quickly. But you notice that the content you share feels…weird. Off. And it’s not getting you the results you hoped.

We’ve seen people use ChatGPT to come up with content prompts. We’ve also seen people pull a bunch of content prompts from different sources online, or buy batches of plug-and-play content prompts. Is there anything wrong with using these things? Nope. However, you need something else to make content prompts actually work for you and your business.

Wait, what’s a content prompt again?

If you’ve never seen or used a content calendar before, let us paint a picture for you. Imagine a Google Sheet or some other project management tool with a calendar. In each week, you have tasks that tell you what content to publish that day. 

That task explains your content idea; for example, “share a Reel about why you should do your own thing instead of focusing on your competitors.” That’s your prompt

Content calendar prompts help you plan ahead and keep your ideas organized, so that when it’s time to create that content, you don’t go blank or suffer from writer’s block.

They sound great, right? So why aren’t they working for your business?

You’re lacking personalization

You can buy inexpensive (or free) pre-made content calendars with pre-written prompts. These can be super helpful, sure, but ONLY IF you find one tailored to your goals and industry. And even then, without personalization, they fall flat and just feel, well, boring. 

Look at it like this…which of these inspires more creativity?

“It’s the first day of summer, yay!” OR “Share a photo that celebrates your excitement for summer, and any upcoming plans or vacations you have!”

“Talk about one of your services.” OR “Share more about your high-ticket offer and show people why it can impact them directly. Bonus points for an added testimonial!”

Sometimes, the strategy is to get personal. Generic prompts aren’t going to cut it anymore. Your audience has seen them one too many times. 

Not sure how to get personal? Try this!

To use prompts intentionally, keep your goals in mind as you plan your content

For example, if you need to push more engagement on your Instagram feed, use prompts that encourage engagement. If you want to highlight your services more, use prompts that will help you do so.

Just because you have a ton of prompts at your disposal doesn’t mean you have to use them all. You have our full permission to take what you need and then move along. 

You’re forgetting about your brand voice

If getting personal with what you’re talking about is important, then getting personal with how you say it is even more so. The brand voice you use for your business has to be consistent to make an impact. It’s crucial. 

To be consistent, choose and use prompts that align with your brand voice — or edit them to do so. 

If you don’t curse, don’t jump on a trending audio filled with F-bombs. If your brand voice is goofy and weird, super-serious and formal content is gonna throw off your audience. 

Create content calendar prompts with your brand voice in mind. Yes, strategy is important, because your content needs to support a bigger purpose. But your content needs to support your brand voice, too. That’s how you build a strong, consistent, memorable brand voice that your audience can instantly identify.

You don’t have what you need to actually create the content

You’ve got the strategy and the brand voice for your content calendar prompts. Ready to hit publish? 

Not so fast. The last thing you have to consider when picking your prompts is you

Do you have what you need to actually create the content you’ve chosen? Ask yourself:

  • Do I have brand photos to create this Instagram post or Facebook post?
  • Have I recorded any video footage (aka “b-roll”) that would work well visually for this content?
  • Will I need to design a graphic for this Story or Reel?
  • Do I know where this TikTok trend came from and is it okay for me to jump on it?
  • Do I have the time and energy to create this content? 

Ooh, that last one is a big one. We are firm believers in using a content strategy that works for YOU. Your capacity, your personality, your hatred for LinkedIn, your skills with Canva. If you don’t take that all into account, you’re setting yourself up for failure (and resentment). 

Say you stuff six prompts into one week of your content calendar and only get to four. What does that tell you? That you’re a terrible content creator and need better time management skills? No

You need fewer prompts posted less frequently to accommodate your schedule. You don’t have to be online 24/7, nor do you have to be everywhere online. You do you.

On-brand, strategic content prompts = better results

Pre-written, generic prompts aren’t made with your business goals in mind. Blank content calendar templates won’t suggest prompts that align with your brand voice and personality. Content calendar prompts that are strategic and on-brand will always get you better results than prompts made for anyone and everyone. 

What if you’re happy to do the content creation part but have no idea what prompts to put in your calendar? Try one of our Strategy Intensives!

Book us for a Strategy Intensive, and we’ll get to know your biz, capacity, and current strategy. Then, we’ll cook up a one-quarter content strategy tailored just for you. You’ll get detailed prompts and outlines for blogs, emails, social content, and more. 

You’ll go off and create that content with ease, knowing that the prompts you’ve gotten will help you achieve your biz goals.

Sound good? Set up your Strategy Intensive today!

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